Tuesday, September 8, 2015

kindergarten: an essay



September 8th, 2015

Roman’s first day of kindergarten.

Well here we are. Roman has spent every day with me- I have been the primary influence on his life unitl this point. And today, for the first time, he went off by himself. And he will spend the day with another adult, having only a few hours before bedtime here with me. And there are so many things going through my head, I don’t know what to feel most.

I feel excited. I am excited for what Roman will grow into this year. He will gain self-confidence. He will gain knowledge. He will gain independence. His little hands will learn how to pass out papers and his eyes will learn to read words. He will have homework and friends and milk money.

I feel loved. I have had personal texts from preschool teachers past, from grandparents and friends and mentors. I have been checked in on and prayed with and hugged. We have such a community here. People who root for us and want the best for us. Friends who are family and ask to see the "first day" pictures before you have even had a chance to take them. This is home. Our neighborhood is our nest. And I am so grateful. 

I feel scared. He is still so small!!!! Five isn’t a very big number for someone to go walking alone out into the big world. I want to be there to make sure he gets to his classroom safely, and to make sure kids are nice to him, and see to it that he obeys his teacher on the first time, everytime. I want to protect his ears from what he hears and his mind from the things I wish he wouldn’t yet learn.

I feel calm. He is not my own. He is God’s son even more than he is mine. And I have never been able to keep his life, even when he is under my roof. Each breath he breathes in has been given to him by his Heavenly Father. And that protection, care, and love hasn’t diminished a bit as he left through the doorway of my home this morning.

I feel secure. I believe that God has spoken clearly that Roman goes to public school. He has a calling over Roman’s life- Roman has been made for great things- and this is part of that. This is building his identity in Christ. More than the number of times I checked his back-to-school list are the times I reminded him that he can pray through anything today. I have ingrained it in his heart that God is going with him, he doesn’t have to be scared, and I have showed him how to pray, “Jesus, I’m scared right now. Please be with me and let my heart feel you.”

And feeling all those things, I walked him to the bus. We all did. Jerry, me, Liam, and Henry marching in single-file down our neighborhood street.  And our neighbors treated us as the scraggily parade we surely seemed. John and Sandy waved and called out best wishes! Trudy’s husband (I will  never remember his name to save my life) recalled his own first day of Kindergarten as we passed. Susan and James were waved as they sat on their front step waiting for the time when Susan would drive James to school.

And as we stood at the bus stop at the intersection at the end of our road taking pictures and making silly faces to be remembered in the years to come, James walked over. He decided to ride the bus with Roman this morning to make sure Ro had a buddy. Together they climbed the steps. Together they sat in the enormous seat. Together they rode off in the big, yellow bus. And as they waved, I cried. My baby. There he goes.

And as the bus pulled away, Liam said, “Mom, I miss Roman.”

So do I, Doodlebug. It’s going to be a lonely day without our funny clown, servant-hearted big brother.

A special moment came about an hour later, when I got a text from my friend Stephanie who was volunteering at school. I got a picture of a smiling Roman, lined up with his class and happy. He made it. He got to school.

And so his day begins. I am willing to bet that his day will pass much faster than my own…

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